Gambling Legislation

New York’s biggest gambling supporter provides update on iGaming

New York's biggest gambling supporter provides update on iGaming

Senator Addabbo doesn’t expect land-based casino licensing delays to impact iGaming push

Lawmakers in New York have done a lot of work to expand legalized gambling in the Empire State, resulting in retail sports betting launching at Rivers Casino in Schenectady and online sports betting in 2022. Most recently, the state gave authorization to expedite licenses for three downstate casinos.

Senator Joe Addabbo, arguably the state’s most prominent gambling advocate, isn’t finished and still wants the state to approve online casino gaming in NY. However, the licensing process has moved slowly since beginning in January, with many concerned it could affect the passage of online casino legislation. Addabbo told PlayNY a few weeks ago. “We need to move on a more-expedited pace, really, to try to see if we can get few licenses done.”

New York Governor Kathy Hochul approved expediting the downstate casino licenses in April 2022, hoping the state would complete the application process by early 2024.

The first step after the RFA went out in January 2023 was for interested parties to present questions to the state no later than February. Many thought regulators would take a few weeks to answer those questions when it actually took about six months.

Various aspects regarding the process have even prompted one analyst to project the downstate licenses won’t be issued by the state until 2025.

Addabbo says he still trusts the Gaming Facility Location Board and New York State Gaming Commission to keep the procedure moving. The Senator from Queens is still optimistic that the prolonged wait won’t affect the goal of making online casinos, online lottery and online poker legal in New York in 2024 and will soon introduce new legislation to legalize them.

Addabbo believes the effort to legalize online casinos shouldn’t affect the licensing of downstate casinos. Or the other way around, saying, “It’s a parallel track.”

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